Battle Honour SANGRO

Tue, 11/30/1943

SANGROThe Battle Honour SANGRO is emblazoned on the King's Colour of The Royal Irish Regiment and was awarded to our antecedent regiments for the actions of their battalions in 38 (Irish) Brigade attacking the German Sangro Line, Italy during the Second World War.

The 6th Battalion The Royal Inniskillings and the City of London Yeomanry advanced on San Maria and Li Colli at dawn on 29 November 1943. Progress was slow and it was dusk before the Battalion's objectives were achieved. After a one-hour delay, the 2nd Battalion The London Irish Rifles moved forward at 0930 hours on 30 November with 44 Royal Tank Regiment to the San Maria – Fossacesia road and fought to clear the Germans along the ridge up to and out of Fossacesia. A detailed artillery fire plan supported the companies and their close supporting armoured squadrons and by 1300 hours the ridge and Fossacesia had been cleared. The intense and accurate artillery, as well as an attack from an unexpected flank, surprised and demoralised the Germans. The London Irish losses were two killed and eight wounded. It was a triumph for planning and organisation.

It fell to the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers to continue clearing down to the sea and by 1630 hours had reached Fossacesia Station and was established to the east of the town. Battle patrols from the London Irish winkled out enemy from concealed locations. One dangerous enemy group of some twenty, commanded by a lieutenant, had refused to surrender, bar one caught escaping, and having killed a London Irish serjeant, their dugout entrance was blocked by demolitions and engineer plant the following morning. At the end of the battle, the London Irish had captured some 500 prisoners and a significant quantity of materiel.

This marked the end of the Battle of the Sangro Line and the enemy, as a result, withdrew some 5 miles.

Althought not chosen by all our antecedent Regiments to be borne on their King's Colour, the Battle Honour SANGRO was emblazoned on the Queen's Colour of The Royal Irish Rangers, and carried forward by The Royal Irish Regiment, having been awarded through the fighting and sacrifice of the men of the:

6th Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
2nd Battalion The London Irish Rifles
1st Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers

(Below; The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Sangro Cemetery)